Tom Brady made NFL history by throwing the 600th touchdown pass of his career in Week 7. He became the first quarterback to ever hit that mark, making a generic piece of pigskin the most valuable football on the planet. After catching the historic pass, receiver Mike Evans did the unthinkable — he threw it into the stands.
What followed was an exercise in ineptitude as the lucky fan graciously returned the ball to a Bucs team staff member. Twenty-nine year-old Byron Kennedy, a doctor of internal medicine at Largo Medical Center, received the following in return:
- Two jerseys signed by Brady
- A signed Mike Evans jersey
- A game-worn helmet
- Mike Evans’ game worn cleats
- $1,000 credit to the Tampa Bay team store
- Two years of Bucs season tickets
- A Bitcoin
- A partridge in a pear tree
While that may seem like a hefty haul for a properly inflated ball, Ken Goldin of leading sports memorabilia marketplace Goldin Auctions valued the football at a cool $500,000. Even Brady thought the fan got jobbed in the deal. When appearing on ESPN2’s Manningcast, he joked, “Byron realized he lost all his leverage once he gave the ball away. He should have held it to get as much leverage as possible.”
Let this be a lesson to every fan that has dreams of being the next Byron Kennedy: Do not give the ball back. I repeat, DO NOT GIVE THE BALL BACK.
The following is a foolproof strategy on what one should do when handed a piece of NFL history:
- Raise the football to the sky and exclaim ‘I am Highlander!’
- Elbow every greedy-eyed fan near you, especially family members
- When a team staffer/security ask for the ball back, flip them the bird
- Make a mean face at the forlorn QB
- Get flagged for taunting
- Take out a sharpie
- Write your mother’s maiden name on the football
- Quickly press the football onto your wrist so the sharpie bleeds onto your skin like you’re an underage college student trying to sneak into a bar
- When asked what you want in return put your pinky to your mouth and say ‘One hundred billion dollars’
- Laugh maniacally
Now that you are armed with this knowledge, go forth and prosper. We’re all rooting for you.